The Minister of Agriculture, Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed the Agriculture and Agrarian Insurance Board to immediately commence the activities of assessing the condition of damage caused to rice cultivation as a result of the looming drought.

Amaraweera has given these instructions to the Chairman of the Agrarian Insurance Board, W.M.M.B. Weerasekera, following a discussion held with the representatives of the farmers in North Central Province at the Anuradhapura District Secretariat yesterday, the Agricultural Ministry said.

Minister Amaraweera has reportedly emphasized that even if compensation of Rs. 100,000 per hectare is granted for cultivation damages, it is not sufficient.

Meanwhile, he has stated that an amount of Rs. 1.7 billion was given for crop damages which occurred last year and that it is likely to increase this year.

Commenting on the matter following the discussion, Amaraweera stated to the media that they expect to submit the report of the damage caused to rice cultivation due to the drought condition to the President and to provide them with the compensation through the Agrarian Insurance Board.

“Currently we can only provide a compensation of Rs. 100,000 per hectare.”

“But in some areas the situation is different. So we have focused on increasing the amount.”

“Until then, we will provide the Rs. 100,000 compensation per hectare”.

Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera departed the island on Thursday to attend the Global Conference on International Year of Millets